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can't we fake it until the children are grown?

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Sep 11, 2006

"Utility, economy, and apparent durability are the qualities to be sought for, I think."
-- Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall (Doctor Fagan's instructions on purchasing trophies for the school sports day.)

There's a solemnity to the cynicism of liberal ecclesiastics that keeps it teetering on a kind of high-wire. Will reality ever soak through and force them to crack a smile, or not? Today, The Times' Ruth Gledhill reports on the possibility of a "two-church solution" to the current problems in the Anglican communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury has summoned a meeting of the chief belligerents which, says Gledhill, with no discernible irony, is part of a plan to "draw up a pact giving the appearance of unity, enabling a final deal to be hammered out at the Lambeth Conference in 2008." Not everyone is confident the bluff can be kept up for two years with a straight face.

The argument among the Episcopalians is expected to move beyond theology to matters of money and property. The wealthy US liberal lobby is expected to resist any compromise move by Bishop Griswold and Bishop Schori -- especially for conservatives to retain any of the substantial capital and pensions assets of the Episcopal Church.

"If it all falls apart," said [one senior source], "you could even see something quite radical happening." For example, insiders are talking of the liberal-dominated Episcopal Church leaving the Anglican Communion itself and seeking unity with a body such as the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht, which is liberal on the question of women and gays. Such a move would allow the Episcopalians to retain their Catholic identity.

To retain their what?

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 1:54 PM ET USA

    Sanctus Belle asks; "... how you have a "Catholic identity" without actually BEING Catholic! " I don't know. Ask John Kerry! Question is: will the Anglicans sell their souls for the sake "of money and property"? History suggests they will do it without a flinch. This time , at least, those that object will only be subject to the press and not the rack.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 11:21 AM ET USA

    My grandfather just passed away. He was a life long Epicopalian. His funeral liturgy was at his parish. The diocese which the church is located has a female bishop, a picture of her with crozier (but no mitre) prominently displayed in entranceway. The priest was male, assisted by a deaconess and 50 something year old altargirl (sacristan?). The eucharistic prayers were all directly ripped from the Novus Ordo, as far as I could tell- I knew them all. What ever happened to Cramer? It was odd.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 9:26 AM ET USA

    "...allow the Episcopalians to retain their Catholic identity." How is it that any Episcopalian would have a "Catholic identity" in the first place?? Do Lutherans go around with hidden Catholic identities? Calvinists? I think not Baptists....this is something to ponder. It would seem some of our liberal Catholic brethren have various Protestant identities, but my mind just cannot wrap itself around how you have a "Catholic identity" without actually BEING Catholic!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 12, 2006 8:45 AM ET USA

    "draw up a pact" Ah, yes. Like those World War II "non-aggression" pacts of years gone by.

  • Posted by: Convert1994 - Sep. 12, 2006 8:10 AM ET USA

    As a former Episcopalian I call upon my faithful brethren still in the Anglican communion to follow my lead. Run your seat to the bottom of the rails. Blow the canopy. Eyes on the horizon, helmet against headrest. Raise handgrips then squeeze. EJECT! There is a bit of a jolt upon ejection and then, after you separate from your seat, the sensation of free fall until your parachute opens. Land safely in Rome.

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Sep. 11, 2006 8:55 PM ET USA

    There is a possible solution here based on how the Catholic Church has different rites. The Anglican/Episcopal Church can be divided thusly: Anglican/Episcopal Straight Rite. Anglican/Episcopal Homosexual Rite (Possibily divided into the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual sub-rites). Anglican/Episcopal Transexual Rite. Anglican/Episcopal Feminist Rite. Anglican/Episcopal Star Trek Rite (going where no religion has gone before). The possibilities are endless.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 11, 2006 7:14 PM ET USA

    "The Church of England was last night unable to confirm that a priest who has HIV had been appointed to take charge of a London parish this month. According to a report in The Sunday Times, the priest, who is anxious not to be identified, is adhering to church guidelines that require sexual abstinence from gay priests." He must be the spiritual and legal advisor to Mother Dow.

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